THPRD has a great new amenity in place for cyclists at the intersection of two of the district’s busiest trails.
“It’s a good, central location,” said Mike Fontenot, Park Maintenance coordinator, who installed the station last June. “It will get more and more use as the area continues to develop.”
The durable metal station stands nearly six feet tall. Users can mount their bikes on heavy duty rails and access several tools affixed to the station, including wrenches, screwdrivers and tire levers. There is also a manual air pump.
“These are nice tools for emergency repairs,” said Fontenot, himself a regular cyclist.
Fontenot said installation of the station was a snap, and that it didn’t take long for users to appreciate the new amenity.
“I got phone calls the next day. People were very appreciative,” Fontenot said. “When I come through to do inspections, I hear a lot of nice comments.”
The station requires very little maintenance, Fontenot said.
“We wanted to put it somewhere with high traffic, where it would be visible, but not close enough to a street or parking lot to be a vandalism target,” said Bruce Barbarasch, superintendent of Natural Resources.
Barbarasch said funding for the station came from the Trails Advisory Committee.
“They were kind enough to give us some challenge grant funding a year or two back,” he said. “We didn’t have anything like it, it wasn’t that expensive and we believed it might encourage more people to ride their bicycles, especially for commuting purposes.”
The station has allowed the park district to increase the quality of the trails network without significant investment.
“We’re always looking at ways to do little things like this that can improve the experience for trail users,” Barbarasch said.